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Malvertising is a type of cyber attack in which an hacker use the online advertising to spread the malware. The attack can infect a system pre-click or post-click. A pre-click malvertisement can be embedded in the main scripts of the page. It can even initiate drive-by-download on visiting the malvertising -laden website. In post-click malvertisement, the attack infects a system when a user clicks on the ads to see the advertisement and is redirected to the malicious website which downloads the malware in the victim system and degrades the performance of the system. The attack is generally executed by hiding malicious code within relatively safe online advertisements.
Procedure For The Attack
- In this attack, the hacker first submits an infected file (having a hidden malware) to the legitimate advertisement network in such a way that the advertiser won't be able to differentiate between trustworthy ads and harmful ones.
- When approved by the advertiser, these malicious ads are served to legitimate sites. In some cases, hackers even re-register the expired, but previously legitimate domains to disguise themselves as a trustworthy domain.
- When the visitor clicks on the ads, they are redirected to the malicious site. Following this, the malicious website tries to download malware on the victim device.
- The malware further allows a hacker to damage a system, access sensitive details or even control the system through remote access.
Mitigation For The Attack
Use up-to-date antivirus software to prevent any malware attack. Uninstall the plugins which are not in use anymore. Use an ad blocking software to prevent downloading the malware contained in the advertisements.Keep the web browsers and the plugins up-to-date with the latest security patches.